The European Movement International is deeply saddened by the tragic and ongoing events in the Mediterranean that have led to the deaths of more than 1,500 men, women, and children this year alone. Immediate action is needed to prevent further loss of life and to establish a coordinated response to this crisis.
The Movement welcomes President Tusk’s announcement that an extraordinary summit will take place on the topic this Thursday. This summit needs to address a Europe-wide and fully-fledged humanitarian response, including close cooperation on search and rescue operations, to prevent further tragedies. Furthermore, the launch of the new EU Migration Strategy in May should grant the EU the capacity to implement profound and structural solutions that will work to support the dignity of migrants.
With this in mind, the European Movement expects the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, to work together with theMigration Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, and First Vice President Frans Timmermans, to take the latest developments into consideration to create an integrated asylum policy in the Mediterranean.
Frédéric Vallier, Vice President, European Movement International, said:
“The decision to end the Mare Nostrum mission last year because of the lack of EU-wide support, in favour of the current Triton operation with a focus on border management rather than saving lives, was a major mistake. Southern states should not be left alone in the resolution of this drama. We expect member states to provide the necessary means to organise a new programme, oriented towards human rights and deeply focused on the humanitarian aspects of migration as soon as possible. We are looking forward to the results of the extraordinary Council summit to take place on Thursday, 23 April and decisive actions following”.
Ugo Ferruta, Vice President, European Movement International, added:
“EU leaders should take their responsibility and take joint action to prevent the further loss of lives this year. A solution must be found that will ensure all people have access to legal asylum procedures and all migrants are brought within the rule of law. The EU is obliged to act, not only on the sea, but also with a comprehensive migration policy that will foster peace and security in its Southern Neighbourhood, and feed into the ongoing European Neighbourhood Policy review.”
Notes to the Editors